The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating a deadly alligator attack that occurred on Monday in Fort Pierce.
The incident took place around noon in Spanish Lakes Fairways, a retirement community, where according to neighbors, a woman who was walking her dog was killed by a 10-foot alligator, WPBF reports.
Gator Bit Woman as She Attempted to Save Her Pet
According to eyewitnesses, the alligator came up to them and took hold of the dog. In an attempt to free her pet from the alligator's grip, the woman grappled with the gator and was bitten.
The 85-year-old woman succumbed to her injuries shortly after the attack, according to FWC officials. Rescuers recovered the woman's body from the scene. Her dog survived the attack while the alligator was captured by a nuisance alligator trapper, according to the FWC.
"Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the family and friends of the victim," a representative for the agency said in a statement.
According to the FWC, serious injuries that stem from alligators are rare in the state, but these creatures can still endanger individuals, pets, and property. In the event that an alligator is spotted, authorities advise individuals to maintain a safe distance and refrain from feeding it.
Alligators More Active in the Warmer Temperatures
Another elderly woman in Florida was killed in July after she fell into a pond and was attacked by two alligators, as previously reported. Alligators are active during spring and summer because when temperatures rise, their metabolism increases and they look for food, a spokesperson for FWC said last year.
In August, an 88-year-old woman was killed in an apparent alligator attack in South Carolina when she was gardening near a pond in Sun City Hilton Head, an adult-only community, and slipped in, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office and the Department of Natural Resources.
On Sunday, a 4-foot-long alligator was removed from a lake at Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York, city officials said. According to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, the alligator was "very lethargic and possibly cold shocked since it is native to warm, tropical climates."